Meet Big Green Detroit

With their first six Learning Gardens officially installed and a spring planting season under their belts, we think it’s time to introduce our Big Green Detroit team to you, our community of supporters.
Small but mighty, this team of four is making big things happen in the Motor City. After kicking off their very first Detroit Learning Garden at Detroit Achievement Academy early this month, the team has had their hand full with garden construction, planting days, community meetings, and more. Thankfully, they took time out of their busy schedules to share a little about themselves on our blog.
Help us welcome Ken, Ava, Odie, and Jonathan, our newest Big Green team members, to our incredible real food community!

Ken Elkins, Regional Director:

What were you doing before Big Green? COO for school-based mentoring org Winning Futures

What do you love most about Detroit? The grit of the people, the fact that we do not subscribe to the narrative that’s giving about us.  We keep moving forward to move their own story.

Fun fact: I love making people laugh!

Ava Jackson, Program Manager:

What were you doing before your joined Big Green?  I was the Program Director at Playworks.

What do you like to do when you’re not at Big Green?  I like to workout and spend time with my nieces and nephews

Fun fact: I played college Basketball, I’m always ready for a game of Basketball when my knee allows me.

Odie Avery, Project Manager:

What were you doing before your joined Big Green? Residential Landscape Design and Maintenance – Northshore Chicago

What do you like to do when you’re not at Big Green? I enjoy camping, working in the garden at home, exploring hidden wonders and gems around Detroit, hanging out with my pups (boxer & beagle), and spending time with my 4 year old nephew.

What’s your favorite thing about Detroit? Definitely the History & Architecture! The people here are pretty awesome, too!

What’s your favorite veggie? Just one?!  I suppose beets would be #1, followed by leeks, then kohlrabi.

Jonathan Pavley, Garden Educator

What were you doing before your joined Big Green? Before Big Green I co-founded and operated Green Thumb Garden Center in Ferndale MI.

 What do you like to do when you’re not at Big Green?  When not at Big Green I can be found lounging on the lake, skateboarding around the city, or stick fighting with MKG Detroit.

Share a fun fact about yourself! I am a descendant of Myles Standish, Military Captain of the Mayflower.

Keep up with the Detroit team on their mini-site here!